Broccoli is a form of cabbage from the Brassicaceae, or mustard, family. Native to Italy, it has been a popular vegetable since the Roman Empire and is available all year round. It’s likely that broccoli began as a wild cabbage, and through careful selective planting and agricultural practices, it became broccoli as we know it today.
Because it’s a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is full of phytonutrients that help support immune function and provide antioxidant support. It’s rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, folate, fiber, potassium, manganese, and much more. Broccoli is also one of the world’s highest food sources of a mineral called chromium, which helps balance blood sugar levels.
Broccoli is one of the best alkaline vegetables. Packed full of soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of the body, it contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which help fight inflammation and reduce allergic reactions. Broccoli holds lots of calcium, which makes it ideal for strong bones and osteoporosis prevention.
Broccoli also contains those all-important cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates. In order to keep these and all the other vital nutrients when cooking broccoli, it’s best to quick steam them for five minutes. This keeps the enzymes whole and enables you to get the most out of them.